Jump to content
Cold?
Local
Radar
Snow?

The Winters Of 85-86 In The West Midlands area


Recommended Posts

Dear all, my third post. I saw an archived thread by a poster called 'Walsall Wood' and decided to reply - here it is. I remember as a child then teenager, the winters were quite bad. Snow in November wasn't unknown, and there were certainly heavy frosts. In late November 1985, we were sent home early from school as it began snowing around 2pm. I'm an Albion fan, and we were playing Villa at home in a Milk Cup replay that night. The snow came down in a blizzard and although it stopped at 5, it did start again around 7.....but that match stayed on. We lost 1-2, but I remember the orange ball coming out (you do not see these much now). Jan/Feb 1986 was bitterly cold and I remember shivering at many a game or school PE lesson outdoors! 

The orange ball came out again in an away game at Birmingham City in early Feb. I seem to remember games were called off. Early Feb also saw blizzards. 

These are what I remember. I posted about the Dec 1990 snow storm elsewhere.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
Spotted a post you think may be an issue? Please help the team by reporting it.
Posted
  • Location: Windermere 120m asl
  • Location: Windermere 120m asl

    Yes November 1985 was very cold with snowfall and harsh frosts, especially towards the end. However, December was very mild and wet until just after christmas when a cold snowy spell occured into early Jan. The rest of Jan 1986 was rather average overall, but became very cold at the end. Feb 1986 was the last sub -1 degree CET month, an exceptional month up there with the likes of Feb 1947, Jan 1940 and Jan/Feb 1963 for persistant cold, thanks to a predominate easterly wind, however, snowfall was fairly limited and light for many. It was a very dry month in Scotland and the NW.

    I have very vague memories of the cold mid 80's winters, its a pity I wasn't born a few years earlier, as I would have had much stronger memories, alas the time of year you most remember as a child roughly from 9 - 12 years old, came during a particularly barren period for snow and cold with the exception of Dec 90/91, (I was 9 during winter 87/88.).

    • Like 1
    Link to post
    Share on other sites
    Posted
  • Location: Napton on the Hill Warwickshire 500ft
  • Weather Preferences: Snow and heatwave
  • Location: Napton on the Hill Warwickshire 500ft

    My 21st birthday was on 9th Feb 1986. Snow ball fights. Feb a  very cold month

    • Like 1
    Link to post
    Share on other sites
    Posted
  • Location: Walsall Wood, Walsall, West Midlands 145m ASL
  • Location: Walsall Wood, Walsall, West Midlands 145m ASL
    21 hours ago, MarkW said:

    Dear all, my third post. I saw an archived thread by a poster called 'Walsall Wood' and decided to reply - here it is. I remember as a child then teenager, the winters were quite bad. Snow in November wasn't unknown, and there were certainly heavy frosts. In late November 1985, we were sent home early from school as it began snowing around 2pm. I'm an Albion fan, and we were playing Villa at home in a Milk Cup replay that night. The snow came down in a blizzard and although it stopped at 5, it did start again around 7.....but that match stayed on. We lost 1-2, but I remember the orange ball coming out (you do not see these much now). Jan/Feb 1986 was bitterly cold and I remember shivering at many a game or school PE lesson outdoors! 

    The orange ball came out again in an away game at Birmingham City in early Feb. I seem to remember games were called off. Early Feb also saw blizzards. 

    These are what I remember. I posted about the Dec 1990 snow storm elsewhere.

    Yeah that was me Mark. A few years ago now that was when I posted about that. Winter 1985/86 would have been my first Winter so I've obviously got no memory of it. I was just curious at the time whether anybody from my region had any clear memories of it to enlighten me with. Of course I knew before then that it was a cold Winter, especially in February but I knew nothing of how much snow would have been around etc. Anyway you've provided some info on that with your post so thanks for that. However someone told me in that topic (can't remember exactly who) that though very cold (especially February) it wasn't especially snowy in the West Midlands area. They told me that the previous Winter of 1984/85 was very snowy though and that there was also deeper snow in January 1987 than there was in February 1986. Of course he never mentioned anything about November 1985 and you mention blizzards in early February 1986. Whether the Walsall area received any of this though I'm unsure, but chances are we would have if Birmingham did. I've also heard there was a short lived snowy spell in early January 1986, as well as March 1987. The earliest snowy Winter I remember however was 1990/91 but unfortunately only very vaguely. Anyway thanks again Mark for providing me with an idea of what those Winters were like during my earliest years. If only I had been born a few years earlier I might have had actual memories of these events, but at the same time I'd have to be older now wouldn't I :D. Oh well lets just hope we can get more Winters like them in the next few years, hopefully starting with 2016/17. :good:

    Link to post
    Share on other sites

    I was 13/14 in 85/86, so perhaps memories are a bit sketchy, but I tend to remember a lot via football matches from the time. Feb 1986 was very cold. I seem to remember early Jan was cold (some football was postponed). 90/91 I remember much better, especially the West Midlands blizzards.

    • Like 1
    Link to post
    Share on other sites
    Posted
  • Location: Portland, Dorset
  • Weather Preferences: Mixed winters and springs, thundery summers and meditteranean autumns
  • Location: Portland, Dorset
    On 30/11/2016 at 23:04, Walsall Wood Snow said:

    Yeah that was me Mark. A few years ago now that was when I posted about that. Winter 1985/86 would have been my first Winter so I've obviously got no memory of it. I was just curious at the time whether anybody from my region had any clear memories of it to enlighten me with. Of course I knew before then that it was a cold Winter, especially in February but I knew nothing of how much snow would have been around etc. Anyway you've provided some info on that with your post so thanks for that. However someone told me in that topic (can't remember exactly who) that though very cold (especially February) it wasn't especially snowy in the West Midlands area. They told me that the previous Winter of 1984/85 was very snowy though and that there was also deeper snow in January 1987 than there was in February 1986. Of course he never mentioned anything about November 1985 and you mention blizzards in early February 1986. Whether the Walsall area received any of this though I'm unsure, but chances are we would have if Birmingham did. I've also heard there was a short lived snowy spell in early January 1986, as well as March 1987. The earliest snowy Winter I remember however was 1990/91 but unfortunately only very vaguely. Anyway thanks again Mark for providing me with an idea of what those Winters were like during my earliest years. If only I had been born a few years earlier I might have had actual memories of these events, but at the same time I'd have to be older now wouldn't I :D. Oh well lets just hope we can get more Winters like them in the next few years, hopefully starting with 2016/17. :good:

    Hey, I lived in south-west Birmingham, and have fond weather memories of the mid 1980s winters. My 10th birthday being in January 1985, and I've been a keen weather watcher since the age of 6! :)

    1983- 1984 winter - I remember December starting frosty and sunny, turning milder and more unsettled followed by a short cold spell and a few cm of snow, then milder again. January 1984 was very unsettled, and turned much colder towards the middle with some heavy snow showers. Unsure memories about the rest of the month, but remember some snow and hard frosts in February 1984.

    For 1984-1985 - December seemed average, pretty unsettled, but remember a much colder and snowy period in early-mid January 1985. Milder and changeable fourth week, some snow showers late in month. February, those blizzards around 7-9 th, over a foot of snow in strong SE to E winds. Thereafter, fine and sunny with severe frosts and huge icicles :)

    1985-1986 - Snow showers and hard frosts in 4th week November, followed by the same at the end of December. Lying snow until 11th January 1986, then mild and stormy for a short time. Very cold again later in the month, then a bitterly cold February, with some sunny days, and very hard frosts. Some snowfall, mostly early in the month, with lying compacted snow and ice persisting for a long period. March was very cold also.

    1986-1987 - December was mild, but January turned extremely cold towards mid month with large snowdrifts to 3 feet high, powder snow on a strong Easterly. More snowfall in February 1987 too, and again on 7th March. 

    Hope this helps :)

    • Like 3
    Link to post
    Share on other sites
    Posted
  • Location: Wildwood, Stafford 104m asl
  • Weather Preferences: obviously snow!
  • Location: Wildwood, Stafford 104m asl
    2 minutes ago, Portland Paul said:

    Hey, I lived in south-west Birmingham, and have fond weather memories of the mid 1980s winters. My 10th birthday being in January 1985, and I've been a keen weather watcher since the age of 6! :)

    1983- 1984 winter - I remember December starting frosty and sunny, turning milder and more unsettled followed by a short cold spell and a few cm of snow, then milder again. January 1984 was very unsettled, and turned much colder towards the middle with some heavy snow showers. Unsure memories about the rest of the month, but remember some snow and hard frosts in February 1984.

    For 1984-1985 - December seemed average, pretty unsettled, but remember a much colder and snowy period in early-mid January 1985. Milder and changeable fourth week, some snow showers late in month. February, those blizzards around 7-9 th, over a foot of snow in strong SE to E winds. Thereafter, fine and sunny with severe frosts and huge icicles :)

    1985-1986 - Snow showers and hard frosts in 4th week November, followed by the same at the end of December. Lying snow until 11th January 1986, then mild and stormy for a short time. Very cold again later in the month, then a bitterly cold February, with some sunny days, and very hard frosts. Some snowfall, mostly early in the month, with lying compacted snow and ice persisting for a long period. March was very cold also.

    1986-1987 - December was mild, but January turned extremely cold towards mid month with large snowdrifts to 3 feet high, powder snow on a strong Easterly. More snowfall in February 1987 too, and again on 7th March. 

    Hope this helps :)

    Now that's what I call winter!

    • Like 1
    • Thanks 1
    Link to post
    Share on other sites
    Posted
  • Location: Wimbledon
  • Location: Wimbledon

    Great to hear the recollections of people. I lived just north of Walsall during those years through my early teens and remember them very well. Certain events stick in my mind. 83-43 had nothing much special but one decent snowfall in January 1984- clearly remember making snowmen, then when I got home on the sunday evening to get ready for school found out I was covered in a rash which turned out to be german measles! Two weeks off school and I never did get the hang of algebra which was first introduced during those two weeks. I remember Jan 1985 being cold and snowy but that was the build up really to the main event in early Feb- still the best snow event I've seen in the UK. Snow started early on the school day (Thursday I think and double French) by the time I went home there were huge drifts, buses and cars going no-where in Walsall- even the main roads were a foot deep and this at rush-hour! Took me hours to get home (mostly walking the 6 miles). The next few days were exploring the huge drifts that had built up, but in brilliant cold sunshine... amazing. Feb 86 was in comparison mostly dry, very cold and only light dustings of snow. Jan 87 also provided huge snowfalls but nothing like the massive drifts which we got in Feb 85. Would love to experience that again :)

    • Like 1
    Link to post
    Share on other sites
    Posted
  • Location: Walsall Wood, Walsall, West Midlands 145m ASL
  • Location: Walsall Wood, Walsall, West Midlands 145m ASL

    Hi slaphead. I remember now it was you who explained these Winters to me when I posted a topic about them a few years back. Feb 85 sounds amazing, but that would have been a few weeks before I was born (end of March). What about Nov 85 and also late Dec 85/early Jan 86 (as I've heard there was a short lived snowy spell then) do you recollect what it was like then? Also Mar 87 if you don't mind as though the Jan beforehand is better remembered I have heard that March was also cold with snow. I've tried asking my Mum before now about snow during these times but she doesn't really remember as such. I believe there was also some snow in Nov 88, which would have been when my sister was born and my my Mum recalls me looking out the window at it coming down in the Manor hospital when visiting her. Though I don't remember any despite remembering seeing my sister for the first time. She remembers Feb 91 quite clearly though as unfortunately her brother died at the time. I do too as I was 5 going on 6 by then but only very vaguely, but for me it was one of my earliest recollections of snow, though I could be remembering Dec 90 earlier that same Winter and what I remember could be a mix of both events, as I have no recollection of my Uncle dying (though I do remember him a bit) and all I remember is playing in the snow in my back garden. In fact I've got three photos of me standing next to a snowman I made from one of those events (impossible to tell which) and the snow looks amazing. I also remember helping to decorate the Christmas tree and I recollect seeing snowflakes drifting past the living room window when I must have got heavy handed which caused the tree to topple over on top of me and that undoubtedly would have been in Dec 90.  I also recall sitting in the back of my Dad's car with him struggling to get it off the drive, with the wheels spinning and such (we lived in Goscote back then). Another memory of that Winter I have is visiting my Grandad and there being this big drift in the corner of his yard (I live in that house now actually which as you can see from my location is in Walsall Wood, but there hasn't been a drift like that here since, though March 2013 provided some more modest drifts on another side of it). Anyway thanks again slaphead and I hope to hear from you soon to hopefully provide some details if you'd be so kind about the events (Nov 85, Dec 85/Jan 86 and Mar 87) if you could please. :good:

    Edited by Walsall Wood Snow
    • Like 1
    Link to post
    Share on other sites
    Posted
  • Location: Portland, Dorset
  • Weather Preferences: Mixed winters and springs, thundery summers and meditteranean autumns
  • Location: Portland, Dorset

    Hey Walsall Wood Snow, in south-west Birmingham, late November 1985 had a sudden hail/ sleet shower one dusk, turning to snow, about 2-3 cm accumulated, followed by very icy surfaces for a few days with sunny days.

    Late December 1985/ early January 1986, I think around 7 or 8 cm of snow accumulated, with a bit more towards 9th January, enough, I remember, for sledging and snowmen! 

    January 1987 (14th-16th) was very severe, with high drifts and a bitter wind-chill, whereas 7th March 1987 was a day of wet snow on a raw SE wind, turning to proper snow from late afternoon, with about 10 cm by dusk (gone 6 pm)

    November 20th 1988 was a light early morning snowfall, about 4 cm, with sunny and frosty days to follow :)

    • Like 1
    Link to post
    Share on other sites
    Posted
  • Location: Wimbledon
  • Location: Wimbledon

    Hey Walsall Wood. I remember some of those events. Don't remember Jan 86 but March 87 I remember very well. Heavy wet snow yes and a driving wind. I had a cross- country match that day in Rugeley and remember the race very well and the slow journey there- rare occasion I ran whole event with Gloves and full track-suit. I didn't do too well if I remember. I also seem to have read since that this was a relatively local event to Staffordshire and the north midlands. Sadly Dec 1990 the next famous fall I was trapped at Uni in Devon and by the time I got back the melt was full on. Some impressive drifts still about, but from what I can tell despite the huge fall not on the scale of Feb 85- perhaps because the snow was much wetter and couldn't drift so much. Feb 1991 was similar in that I was also in Devon but came back that weekend to rehearse for the only proper  live gig my band ever did at Junction 10 a few weeks later!! Certainly freezing cold and some great drifting though once again not on Feb 85 levels. I must dig some photos out from my parents collection of some of these! Oddly I don't remember snow in Nov 1988 but I vaguely remember snows as early as 1981 even or earlier.

    • Like 1
    Link to post
    Share on other sites
    Posted
  • Location: Walsall Wood, Walsall, West Midlands 145m ASL
  • Location: Walsall Wood, Walsall, West Midlands 145m ASL

    Thanks Slaphead. Just to clarify when you say the March 87 event was localised to Staffordshire and the north Midlands, I presume you mean the north West Midlands county and that the Walsall borough area was affected? Anyway thanks again for the info. It's good to hear about what these events were like back then by somebody like yourself who would have been living so close by to me, and who is old enough to remember, to give me a pretty accurate picture of what these events would have been like in my own back yard. Cheers :good:.

    Link to post
    Share on other sites
    • 2 weeks later...
    Posted
  • Location: weston-super-mare, UK
  • Location: weston-super-mare, UK

    My Mum has used this December as a comparison to 1986 - cold start, mild middle and a cold end, then the epic snows in the January to March of 1987. My sister was born in the December, and when she had to go to Marston Green Hospital for a six week check-up, she had to cancel it as there was snow everywhere! The winter I was born in (84/85) was bitter she said and the amount of snow in January and February. 

    I was 6 in December 1990, and I do remember it vaguely being very excited it was snowing - the February is legendary that year. 

    • Like 1
    Link to post
    Share on other sites
    • 1 year later...
    Posted
  • Location: Wildwood, Stafford
  • Location: Wildwood, Stafford

    Couple of photographs from '85-'86 in Acton Trussell, posted these the other day in the central regional group. 

    IMG_0308.thumb.JPG.1fe530a6fcf1d401ed0ef

    IMG_0309.thumb.JPG.90400662b057ac379a9fb

    Considering the drifts are to the top of the hedges I'd estimate the depth was around five and a half foot.  As I mentioned in the regional thread there were drifts not far from the church that were around 20'.  Along one of the lanes we actually carved tunnels and rooms into the drifts, we were cut off for around a week so made the most of the impromptu school holiday.

    • Like 2
    Link to post
    Share on other sites

    Create an account or sign in to comment

    You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

    Create an account

    Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

    Register a new account

    Sign in

    Already have an account? Sign in here.

    Sign In Now
    • Weekend plans: Day trips and evenings out

      Little change by this weekend with further heavy showers. There will be some warm sunshine in between but temperatures remain in the teens with more of a breeze. Still cool for sitting out. Read more here

      Jo Farrow
      Jo Farrow
      Latest weather updates from Netweather

      UK Storm and Severe Convective Forecast

      UK Severe Convective & Storm Forecast - Issued 2021-05-12 09:20:25 Valid: 12/05/2021 0600 - 13/05/2021 0600 THUNDERSTORM WATCH - WEDS 12TH MAY 2021 Click here for the full forecast

      Nick F
      Nick F
      Latest weather updates from Netweather

      Thunderstorm Safety: How to avoid being struck by lightning

      What is the best thing to do if you are caught in a thunderstorm, in the park, on a ramble, playing golf or at the beach? Predicting lightning and where is safe? Read more here

      Jo Farrow
      Jo Farrow
      Latest weather updates from Netweather
    • Recently Browsing   0 members

      No registered users viewing this page.

    ×
    ×
    • Create New...